Garage Baby Swing

Andy and I aren’t yet ready to commit to a full-fledged swing set, so we got creative and installed a toddler swing in our garage. It’s located close enough to the garage opening that baby H can still see a pretty view of the yard. The garage roof provides overhead protection, so he can even swing in the rain. It was easy to install (especially for me, since I wasn’t the one who installed it!).

homedepothooks_wisemamablog.comWe bought this screw swing hardware set at Home Depot for $5,

 and this toddler swing on Amazon for $20.

hooks_wisemamablog.comAndy installed the hooks in about 20 minutes. He said it was, “super easy.” Andy’s Helpful Hint:  Use a screwdriver to help screw in the hooks by sticking it through the hook and turning it for leverage.

swinging_wisemamablog.comVoilà! Our little guy lights up when he swings, especially when I get the bubble-making machine going at the same time. I love that we can enjoy a baby swing at home without having to commit to a giant play set yet.

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Father’s Day Art

My son and I had a ball creating gifts for Andy’s first Dad’s Day. Here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to.

canvas_wisemamablog.comThis canvas has been lying around our basement for years. Time to put it to use! I painted it, took photos of H posing with it, then used Mod Podge to adhere the best photo to the canvas. Baby footprints and handprints finish it off. The bright colors coordinate with Andy’s office at work.

letters_wisemamablog.comI borrowed letters from a friend to spell out “DAD.” You may have seen this idea on Pinterest.The frame was about $25 at Gordman’s. It holds three 5 x 7 photos and came with the mat.

canvasback_wisemamablog.comTo hang the canvas, I bought several sawtooth hangers at Hobby Lobby for about $1.50. It hammered in easily.

phtotback_wisemamablog.comFor only $1, Hobby Lobby attaches hanging wire to the back of frames. It took 5 minutes.

Father's Day

I had a little extra time on my hands, so I used iMovie to create a Father’s Day photo montage. In it, pictures of Andy and H accompany each line of this poem.

Walk alongside me, Daddy
And hold my little hand
I have so many things to learn
That I don’t yet understand
Teach me things to keep me safe
From dangers every day.
Show me how to do my best
At home, at school and at play
Every child needs a gentle hand
To guide them as they grow
So walk alongside me, Daddy
We have a long way to go.



Inspired by a friend, I dressed H in Andy’s baby clothes and recreated some of his old baby photos. H has been a good sport through all these photoshoots.

Watching my husband as a father is a dream come true. He’s patient, kind, and fun. I hope all this “stuff” shows him just a bit of how grateful H and I are to have him in our lives.

Happy Father’s Day.

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DIY Nursery Closet Dividers With Printables

DIY Closet Dividers

Even if you don’t fancy yourself a particularly crafty person, doing a couple of simple handmade projects for the nursery really makes it feel homey. Try taking fabric swatches to the craft store and find matching scrapbook paper. No doubt, you’ll find all kinds of ways to use the pretty paper in the nursery. With my paper, I made closet dividers and a memory box for some of H’s earliest keepsakes. I used a little of the leftover orange paper as a backdrop for framing sonogram pictures.

Closet Dividers

If you’d like to do the closet dividers yourself, simply cover plain closet dividers with paper, using Mod Podge as an adhesive. Dab a little superglue under the paper before you use Mod Podge so that the paper adheres well. I like these particular dividers best, because they’re easy to see in the closet. The most difficult part of this project is cutting the decorative paper the right size and shape, so I’ve provided a template for you. Thanks to my husband, Andy, for making these templates. Be sure to print “Actual Size” instead of “Scale to Fit” to ensure the right fit.

Printable Template: Closet Dividers With Numbers.
Printable Template: Closet Dividers Without Numbers.

Memory Box

Mod Podge also works to cover a plain memory box. Get creative with how you cover it — anything goes. Use letter stickers to personalize the box with your little one’s name. This box will be the perfect place to store his little hospital bracelet when you get home from the hospital.

Happy crafting!

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Photography by Samantha Wise.

Easy Newborn Valentines With Lots of Heart

Newborn Valentine

A few days ago, H made his very first Valentines for his grandparents. Stamping quality footprints from a 3-month-old was surprisingly easy. He rode in our Infantino Carrier so that my hands were free. I dabbed his dangling foot in acrylic paint and went to town stamping. The first two tries did nothing more than get rid of excess paint; after that, the stamps looked pretty good. I kept him in the carrier to wash off his tootsies in the sink. Easy as pie. Amazingly, we both made it through the project without covering ourselves in paint.

UPS Envelopes

Since we used the classic 8 1/2 by 11-sheet-of-paper-folded-in-half method for our Valentines, I wasn’t sure what to use for an envelope. Lucky for me, UPS sells perfectly sized envelopes in a wide variety of fun colors. I’ve taken note of their cute envelopes for future DIY cards.

For more pics of the Wise Family Valentine’s season, including a couple of great Hobby Lobby wreaths, check out Wise Mama Blog on Instagram – I’d love to see you there. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your family! Spread the love.

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